Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[kat-nip] /ˈkæt nɪp/
a plant, Nepeta cataria, of the mint family, having egg-shaped leaves containing aromatic oils that are a cat attractant.
Also, especially British, catmint.
Origin of catnip
1705-15, Americanism; cat + nip, variant of Middle English nep catnip, apocopated variant of Old English nepte < Medieval Latin nepta, variant of Latin nepeta Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for catnip
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • On the homeward way they turned into a lane and came to a clump of catnip.

    A Night Out Edward Peple
  • The newspapers pounced on them with joy, as cats pounce and purr on catnip.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • catnip may be cultivated for the bees and sold as an herb as well.

    Agriculture for Beginners Charles William Burkett
  • It was like throwing a cat into a bed of catnip and expecting him to be calm.

  • The sight of a snowstorm affects a child as the smell of catnip affects a cat.


    Dallas Lore Sharp
British Dictionary definitions for catnip


another name for catmint
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for catnip

1712, American English, from cat (n.) + nip, from Old English nepte "catnip," from Latin nepta, name of an aromatic herb. The older name is Middle English catmint (mid-13c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for catnip

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for catnip

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for catnip